Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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Location: Edge City, Titan

30 September 2007

Farewell Cox and Forkum

Allen Forkum writes:
Let me start by saying that quitting editorial cartooning has been one of my toughest decisions. Having such a creative outlet for expressing my opinions is immensely satisfying. It's an art form I've admired for decades, so I do not take lightly having the opportunity to work in the medium and to have that work seen by others. One of my proudest moments came soon after 9/11 when I held in my hands our first published cartoon. It was easy to feel useless, even helpless, in the weeks and months following the attacks. But to be able to fight in the battle of ideas was empowering.

For better or worse, I've always had to approach the editorial cartoon work as a "part time" career. I never quit my "day job" as co-owner of a small newspaper publishing business. The editorial work, though intellectually rewarding, is not very rewarding financially. Furthermore, researching the cartoons, writing/designing them, managing the blog, publishing the books, marketing them, and running the business side all take an enormous amount of time.

All of that comes with the territory, of course, and John and I have done pretty well over the last six years. We're fairly well known on the Internet, we have a few newspaper and magazine clients, we've self-published four books, and we've made some money, if not a living. But lately, for reasons I won't go into here, I can no longer afford to divert so much time and attention away from my publishing business and other personal concerns, such as my family.

I also want to stop focusing so much of my creative energy on negative aspects of daily life. There's still an ideological battle to be fought, not to mention an actual war, and I will stay engaged in some form and medium. But at this point, anything seems more appealing than immersing myself in the sewer of daily politics.

They will be missed. Check out their editorial cartoons or buy their books and other stuff.

H/T: Wizbang

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Lenin's Ghost and More Marxist Breadcrumbs 9/30/07

Pravda, Ghost of Lenin sighted in the Kremlin
“Two years ago I worked at the President’s Archives located in the Kremlin,” says Sergei Kuleshov, a historian and colleague of Gorbovski’s. “I was having my lunch one day in a canteen. A friend of mine introduced me to a gray-haired gentleman who sat at our table.

He was a KGB colonel in charge of security of a building hosting Lenin’s former apartment and study. We were making jokes with regard to the supernatural as we ate our lunches. Suddenly, the KGB man stopped smiling and told us a story about footsteps and other strange sounds coming from Lenin’s apartment at night. He said that that his colleagues and he had repeatedly heard the footsteps and sounds that resembled those produced by furniture being shuffled around the floor. The sounds were coming from Lenin’s study, which was locked and sealed, not to mention a number of guards who watched it round the clock.

Senator Jim DeMint, Against Dem Plan to Socialize Medicine

Gerald Warner, Liberal consensus on Burma is humbug and hypocrisy
In Burma, socialism did what it does best: transformed a nation of fertile land and rich resources into an economic basket case (if you are reading this anywhere in central Scotland, a glance out of the window will illustrate the point). It was rice shortages (in Burma!) that provoked the uprising in 1988 that was so bloodily put down by a regime that thenceforth became a straightforward military dictatorship.

Now we are told it would be immoral to have dealings with the regime. In terms of moral absolutism, that seems indisputable; but where is the ethical consistency? The Burmese rulers killed, at the highest estimate, 10,000 people in 1988. Multiply that several times, if you like, to cover all victims of repression in the intervening and antecedent years. It is difficult to take the estimate as high as 100,000. Yet Red China has murdered 65 million people.

What is our posture towards Beijing? In economic terms, we simply cannot do enough for the comrades. Between 1998, when Britain established a "co-operative partnership" with China, and 2003, our trade with Beijing doubled from $5bn to $10bn. The UK's actual investment in China also leapt by over $10bn in the same period. In 2005, UK companies spent more than $4.5bn on 15 Chinese companies. Perhaps one is missing something, but what was the qualitative difference between the lives lost in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and those killed in Burma in 1988?

Times Online, Stalin, the ogre who won’t go away
Stalin died in 1953, his body now lying outside the walls of the Kremlin, but his ghost is still with us. That is one of the things I learnt over the past five years as I travelled back and forth between England and Russia to interview the last survivors of his Great Terror – a generation that is about to disappear. This was a unique opportunity because the average age of the people who told us their stories was 80 and many have since died. People handed over letters that had been hidden under mattresses, diaries – some written in code – and boxes of photographs.

Tonya, in her sixties, showed me an old towel that her mother had embroidered while in a labour camp. She had never spoken before about being the child of a gulag prisoner for fear of persecution. I soon realised that the first thing that happens when a family has suffered repression is that the children suffer “inherited” or habitual fear. It passes down the generations, reducing voices to a whisper and silencing tongues.

Michael Evans, How Soviet ‘Laurel and Hardy’ punished Rudolf Hess
The daily regime faced by Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, during his two decades as the sole prisoner in Spandau Jail in Berlin was made as harsh as possible by two Soviet officials described as a “sinister Laurel and Hardy team”, newly declassified files have revealed. [...]

In one Foreign Office file, Bob de Burlet, the British governor at Spandau, wrote in May 1974: “The Soviet governor, Voitov, short, fat and roly-poly, and his chief henchman, Fedorov, thin and sallow, are a couple of sneaky and mean individuals who are perfectly cast in their villainous roles as a sort of sinister Laurel and Hardy team.”

Against the wishes of the three other governors, they insisted on removing Hess’s spectacles at 10pm every night so that he could not read, refused to let him have winter socks, obstructed attempts to have his run-down cell refurbished, and demanded that every notebook he had filled with his thoughts be destroyed.

The Sun, Give us the promised referendum
As for the issue of Europe, the Prime Minister was almost contemptuous.

He dismissed the new Constitution, renamed the Reform Treaty, in just two curt sentences.

“I accept my responsibility to write in detail into the amended treaty the red lines we have negotiated for Britain.”

That may be his responsibility.

If he believes this treaty is good for Britain, he should be prepared to take it to the British people so we can make up our own minds.

It is his sworn duty to give a final say to the people of Britain. He is forgetting his promise.

We intend to keep reminding him — right up to election day.

Britain under the EU will soon learn what taxation without representation is all about. What kind of tea party will they throw?

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28 September 2007

More Marxist Breadcrumbs 9/28/07

In the real world Communism has been discredited as a system. When the USSR failed, it proved that ideological socialism coupled to the apparatus of state terror is no way to run a country, though it is an effective way to create Hell on Earth. And yet Marxist and Communist memes persist because there are still useful idiots lurking like parasites who continue to spread Marxist propaganda to people who never thought about it.

And there are those who for some reason need to educate their fellow man about the inhuman evil that is Communism and Socialism.

A Trail of Marxist Breadcrumbs

Lenin, Lenin's Tomb
One of the central Marxist sites on the web. I once summarized it as "Communist agitprop, anti-Jew, pro-Islam, this is what Evil looks like." I still think so.

Melissa Grosse, Letters to the Editor: Communism is not the right answer
Griffiths aptly stated that, " … we have the freedom to make mistakes, and the freedom to make other people pay for them." I heartily disagree - we do have the freedom to make mistakes, but we do not have the freedom to make others pay for them.

This is a "privilege" granted by the socialist government programs in practice (Social Security, welfare, Medicare/Medicaid) that have been, over time, proven inherently flawed.

I would like to know if Griffiths is the only child in her family, or if maybe she would have been one of those aborted had the same restrictions that exist in China existed here.

Grosse is correct. When someone makes a mistake and then makes others pay for their mistake, that is called theft or fraud... or socialism.

The watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) take a turn too. Check out this string of assertions.

Jane Cutter, Capitalism creates incentives to destroy rainforests
Capitalism is the biggest threat to the environment.

The anarchy of the profit-based system leads to convoluted "solutions" like carbon offsetting to address the growing crisis of global warming. These are not solutions at all. [WP: This is true. Carbon offsets are a scam.]

Socialism is the real answer to the dire problems faced by the planet and its inhabitants. Socialism is a system based on centralized economic planning without the profit motive.

While socialist planning by itself cannot resolve the environmental crisis, it lays the basis for us to organize life to meet human needs while protecting the planet that sustains us.

Mark J. Perry, Socialism Works, But Only if You Know Their Names
After Walter Willams' dinner speech last night, Robert Barro asked a question about whether the government had any obligation to provide any socialist-type safety-net programs for the general good.

Walter responded something like this. "Let me make this perfectly clear. I support and practice many types of socialist programs including income redistribution, welfare payments, disability support, free health care, and social saftey nets. But I only practice socialism IN MY OWN FAMILY; and socialism like this only works when you know the names of the people involved. In any situation when you personally can't name everybody involved, then the market is superior to socialism."

Brown Hound, How to Shatter A Castro-phile’s Arguments
Q. Didn’t the U.S. Defense Department come out with a report saying that Cuba is not a threat to the United States?

A. Yes, although the report’s drafter turned out to be Ana Belen Montes, a woman who was convicted for espionage on behalf of the Cuban regime. Although Cuba may not pose a conventional military threat to the U.S., it clearly demonstrated, with Ana Belen Montes, that it is an intelligence threat. The Cuban regime considers itself an enemy of the USG and is an instigator of anti-American activities all over the world, especially in Latin America. Its functionaries in Venezuela and Bolivia right now are helping leaders there assault those countries’ democratic institutions. Cuba is on the list of countries that support international terrorism; any intelligence it picks up from the USA, it can be expected to pass on to other rogue states or groups that are enemies of the USA.

Michael Martinez, Castro appears healthy in new video
HAVANA—Largely alert and lucid, Fidel Castro made a surprise appearance on a TV news program Friday night in a pre-recorded, hour-long interview, speaking about an essay he wrote last week condemning the U.S. for threatening the global economy.

His appearance was unusual because Castro has largely been out of the public eye since he underwent emergency intestinal surgery 14 months ago.

The government has at times shown photographs and video of Castro, but his exact illness and prognosis have been kept secret. His last state TV interview was in June.

Vanessa Veiock, Illuminating communism's shadows
Saturated with innumerable, carefully sketched dark lines and splashes of glaring red, Peter Sís' new book could be two different things: a children's story about communism or an adult book with illustrations.

"I'm leaving it as a message to find its audience," the author and illustrator said about his latest creation, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.

Originally created to help his children better understand his past, the autobiographical, visual narrative is shelved under children's literature, but it prevails as an engaging adult book centered on Sís' childhood in Cold War-era Prague.

Vheadline, Diana Raby: 'Democracy and Revolution,' Venezuela and 21st Century Socialism

In 'Democracy and Revolution,' Raby argues that Cuba, and above all Venezuela, provide inspiration for anti-globalization and anti-capitalist movements across the world. Another world is possible, but only through an effective political strategy to win power on a popular and democratic basis.

Raby argues passionately that the way forward for progressives is not to be found in the dogmatic formulae of the Old Left, nor in the spontaneous autonomism of John Holloway or Tony Negri. Instead, it is to be found in new, broad and flexible popular movements with bold and determined leadership.

Examining the relationship of key leaders to their people, including Hugo Chavez and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Raby shows that it is more necessary than ever to take power, peacefully where possible, but in all cases with the strength that comes from popular unity backed by force where necessary. In this way it is possible to build democratic power, which may or may not be socialist depending on one’s definition, but which represent the real anti-capitalist alternative for the twenty-first century.

Diana Raby is Senior Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Liverpool (UK) and also holds the rank of Professor Emeritus in the Department of History, University of Toronto, where she taught for many years.

She is the author of numerous academic publications on populism, popular movements and revolution, with reference particularly to Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and Portugal.

Diana has also long been active in solidarity movements and progressive political causes in both Canada and the UK.

Just to underline the point, "Raby shows that it is more necessary than ever to take power, peacefully where possible, but in all cases with the strength that comes from popular unity backed by force where necessary." She is a thug at heart, as are all communist revolutionaries.

Inigo Guevara, Socialism: alive and well in the new Venezuela
Venezuela has drawn attention because of the rhetoric from President Hugo Chavez, who appears keen to turn Venezuela, the region's oldest democracy, into a militarised state.

Venezuela's armed forces were, for most of the second part of the 20th century, a good example of a professional, modern and competent fighting force, at least by Latin American standards. The National Armed Forces comprise four traditional elements: an army, navy, air force and national guard. They have been traditionally non-political, but recent changes within the armed forces - and a deeper relationship with the Cuban military - have prompted a rethink about their roles and missions. While some institutional change has been under way since 1999, the past few months have seen an acceleration of this process, from symbolism and rhetoric that equates the regime's importance to the survival of the modern state to organic, administrative and constitutional changes.

In March, the Venezuelan Army began the promotion of what it calls "the new military thought" among its ranks, redefining the armed forces' active role in the consolidation of 21st century socialism in Venezuela. This was re-affirmed during May, with the official elevation of a new motto: 'Country, Socialism or Death!'. Each soldier must pronounce these words before referring to a superior. Accordingly, the non-political nature of the armed forces has been challenged as the motto suggests that the armed forces should support whoever is in power and, in this case, socialism is the government's policy.

Our next contributor is a student trying to get advice. The sad thing about the page is how much bad advice he gets from his fellow students before someone points out that Capitalism is an economic system and Socialism is a political system, but forgets to mention that they work together in China, which is just a lovely place to live if you aren't Falun Gong.

Matherly, Socialism vs Capitalism- where to begin?
I am going to be involved in an informal debate in the Real World, not at BABB concerning the merits of Socialism and Capitalism. Now, I know the basics from my Micro- and MacroEconomic courses in college but I want to do some research that really looks into the two systems and criticises them both positivly and negativly (I want to avoid Straw Men versions)

My question: do any of you have any sources you would recommend? I am quite happy to go to the library so the recommended sources do not have to be on the Internet.

DeanVX, Communism: Worse Than Nazism
Isn't it interesting that when we see something going on in the world that we don't like, we compare it to Nazism? People on the far left & far right have done it. Liberals call anyone with even one conservative viewpoint a "Nazi." Staunch conservatives who oppose abortion have compared it to the Nazis rounding up Jews & sending them to concentration camps. People somehow feel morally superior if they can get away with calling someone they don't like a Nazi. If you're one of these people, then I'm going to have to burst your bubble. While the Nazis were bad, they weren't the ultimate form of evil in the 20th - and even the 21st - century. The ultimate evildoers were communists. Consider:

During Joseph Stalin's reign, it is estimated that 20 million Russians were rounded up and murdered. Soviet gulags were not completely unlike Nazi concentration camps. The concentration camps existed for about 12 years. Gulags were around for much, much longer. Stalin tends to get a free pass, probably because the Soviets were our allies during World War II.

Opium addiction had been a major problem in China for about two centuries when the communists seized power there in the late 1940s. The communists wiped it out overnight. How did they do it? The communists rounded up all the opium addicts - sometimes entire families - and executed them. Quite an effective drug treatment program, huh? The true number of those who were murdered is unknown, but it has been estimated that between one-quarter & one-third of China's population was addicted to opium when the communists took over the country.

He sums up the history lecture (drawing on the Black Book of Communism and other sources based on the Soviet Archives) comparing Communism with the National Socialist German Workers' Party, ending with a sensible suggestion:
So remember, when you see something evil going on in the world, the first words out of your mouth shouldn't be, "That's just like what the Nazis would do." The first words should be, "That's just like what the Communists did."

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27 September 2007

A Trail of Marxist Breadcrumbs

In the real world Communism has been discredited as a system. When the USSR failed, it proved that ideological socialism coupled to the apparatus of state terror is no way to run a country, though it is an effective way to create Hell on Earth. And yet Marxist and Communist memes persist because there are still useful idiots lurking like parasites who continue to spread Marxist propaganda to people who never thought about it.

A Trail of Marxist Breadcrumbs

Min Lee, Communism Comment Costs Wang Investment
HONG KONG — Chinese-American director Wayne Wang says mainland Chinese investors backed out of his new movie, "A Thousand Years of Prayers," because he refused to cut one of the characters' criticism of Chinese communists.

Wang says Chinese investors who had offered to cover half of the movie's production budget asked him to cut dialogue where the father character says, "Communism is good. It just fell into the wrong hands (in China)."

Maggie's Farm, Antonio Gramsci and "the long march through the culture"
It is difficult to understand what has been happening politically in the US and in Europe for the past 30 years without understanding the influence of Gramsci (1891-1937) on Western Leftist thinking and strategizing.

Gramsci was a clever Italian neo-Marxist who realized that the West, due to its prosperity, its increasingly-wide access to education and opportunity, social mobility, and its readiness to repair injustices (due to its Judeo-Christian morality), would never be amenable to a violent proletarian socialist revolution.

So he came up with Plan B, which is often termed "Gramscian tactics."

Maggie's Farm again, Thinking about Gramsci
And then next I happened to stop by David Warren for my weekly visit and read Reconstructing the Family. Yes, it's about Gramsci again.

This stuff is everywhere. Am I a victim, a pitiful captive of counter-revolutionary Bourgeois Thought which causes me to believe that this stuff is utter, malevolent nonsense?

Speaking of that "Reconstructing the Family" article, David Warren, Reconstructing family
for several generations now, in its colossal arrogance, the Nanny State has been presenting itself instead as everybody's ultimate mummy and daddy, though allowing the institution of marriage to continue. The adult citizen was treated more and more as a child, incapable of making decisions autonomously. Over time, the citizen in turn has responded to this by manifesting many child-like qualities, leaving the government to clean up after him.

In the last few years, we have gone beyond this, so that now the government presents itself as the champion of various “alternative” ways to raise children. In doing so, it has taken upon itself the function of what Josef Stalin called “the engineer of human souls,” forging some post-modern variant of the “new socialist man” -- albeit without any clear conception of what that man/woman should be.

Yet on several fronts, the pendulum is finally returning, and governments themselves are beginning to realize, with some alarm, the scale of the disaster they have caused.

Moonbattery, Michael Bloomberg Echoes Michael Moore
Michael Moore is widely recognized as perhaps the most profoundly vile human being to acquire access to the public stage as a result of the abhorrent propaganda he spews. A particularly contemptible example is his infamous comparison of the terrorists killing our troops in Iraq with the Minutemen who helped found this country. Appallingly, we now hear this same obscene comparison from the Mayor of New York.


The difference from Moore is that Mayor Mike speaks from idiocy rather than malice. Fortunately the conspicuousness of this idiocy will spare us all from any serious threat of a Bloomberg presidency. If only Hillary were dumb enough to make public comparisons between Islamic terrorists and the Minutemen.

Times of India, Ex-King of Bulgaria was KGB spy, says leading opposition leader
"There are undisputed facts and documents proving that Simeon, the ex-king, was noticed by the Russian KGB in the early 60s and was later offered money to pay his gambling debts in exchange for his collaboration with the service," Yanev was quoted as saying.

The accusation comes as the country delves through its Communist-era files to discover the identity of former collaborators and informants, the daily claimed.

However, the 70-year-old former king has refuted all the allegations. He said that the latest accusations were only intended to smear him in the run up to upcoming local polls.

Megan McArdle, Losing weight the Castro way
1. Step one: impose a strict socialist regime.

2. Step two: Cling to said regime long after communism has failed in the rest of the world. The resulting economic collapse will force everyone to drastically reduce their caloric intake, and increase their activity level.

EarthTimes, Latvian premier: Gang of former KGB agents operating in Latvia
Riga - A criminal group composed of Soviet-era KGB agents and former and present special service agents is operating in Latvia, the country's prime minister said Thursday. "We know people, their names, concrete crimes, we have testimonies, but we haven't detained anyone yet," Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis said.

The criminal gang - allegedly linked to certain politicians - is believed to be involved in extortion and drug trafficking in the small Baltic EU country, he said.

Kalvitis did not disclose any names, but called on President Valdis Zatlers to hold a special national security council meeting "as soon as possible."

Lev Navrozov, Shostakovich and Stalin: Symphony as propaganda
The “new Soviet culture,” that is, totalitarian propaganda, wanted a Soviet Beethoven. In his last (9th) Symphony, Beethoven greeted a new era of mankind. And here this era came—originally into Soviet Russia. So the new live Beethoven was to hail it!

But Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, already in rehearsal, in 1936, was found by his owners just gloomy. Where is the Beethovenian joy of the new era of mankind?

Shostakovich withdrew his Fourth Symphony from the rehearsal and wrote his Fifth Symphony, which delighted “Pravda.” that saw in it Beethoven’s “grandiose vistas”! No, it was not gloomy, but “tragically tense”!

So far, so good. Shostakovich was a slave, and a slave has to do and be what his owners want him to.

But he overdid his fear by writing across the score of his Fifth Symphony: “Creative reply of a Soviet artist to just criticism.”

AFP, Bush says Castro rule near end, urges 'free' polls in Cuba
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — US President George W. Bush, in a speech to the UN General Assembly here Tuesday, called for "free and competitive elections" in Cuba, saying the long rule of ailing President Fidel Castro "is nearing its end."

"In Cuba, the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end," he told world leaders gathered here, in a reference to Castro.

"The Cuban people are ready for their freedom," he added, stressing as the communist-rule island enters a period of transition, "The United Nations must insist on free speech, free assembly and ultimately free and competitive elections."

As Bush uttered those words, the Cuban delegation led by Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque walked out in protest.


Beard of Wisdom, Why Communism Fails
the assumption seems to be that Communism establishes a communal set of goods which tempts people to take more than their fair share, so the system breaks down. But can anyone think of a Communist or socialist country in history that has ever managed to accumulate such a set of communal goods to be shared? I can’t. Because in order to get that community stock of goods, you have to confiscate them from their prior owners, which means you have to centralize power and probably use violence. Human nature being what it is, there will always be someone who will hijack this mechanism for his own benefit. So, long before the Tragedy Of The Commons or the Incentive Problem rear their ugly heads, there will be tyranny.

Thus the problem with Communism isn’t that it always breaks down, but that it will can never really begin.

Max Delany, An Inside Track to Putin's Kremlin
From his ground-floor office, at the end of a marble corridor lined with portraits of his Soviet predecessors Leon Trotsky, Felix Dzerzhinsky and Lazar Kaganovich, Vladimir Yakunin runs a state within a state.

As president of the country's second-largest corporation, Russian Railways, Yakunin controls an empire of steel and movement that spans 11 time zones, employs a work force bigger than the population of Estonia and has a budget larger than those of many developing nations.

Now, Yakunin is being touted as a dark horse contender for the Kremlin thanks to a resume with KGB-like gaps, links to Vladimir Putin's most intimate St. Petersburg circle and a post in an influential Orthodox organization.

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American Solutions

The Solutions Lab was launched today. Head over and check it out.

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26 September 2007

Danger! Soros Engineered Immigration Brouhaha

Larry Kudlow notes at the Corner:
In an exhaustively researched survey of 145 precincts and 175,000 votes, Richard Nadler of America’s Majority Foundation concludes that when Republicans talk about enforcement-only, deportation, and criminalization of illegal immigrants, they get slammed politically.

According to Mr. Nadler, “Policies that induce mass fear in illegal aliens induce mass anger in legal aliens because of ties of family culture and a shared media communication.”

Because of the predominant Republican party attitude of enforcement-only, the study indicates that Democrats will capture New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Iowa in the upcoming presidential contest.

On Monday, Investor's Business Daily outlined the threat to the USA posed by George Soros' operations:
Didn't the mainstream media report that 2006's vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?

Turns out that wasn't what happened, either. Soros' OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.

So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.

Soros spent a lot of money trying to get John Kerry, his Sun Valley, Idaho neighbor, elected president in 2004. Defeating Bush was "the central focus of my life," he said. He has continued to pour money into secretive operations intended to embarrass Bush, damage the public image of the President of the United States, and demonize traditional and conservative voices. His operations are separated from him by layers of misdirection and plausible deniability.

The immigration issue is a classic wedge issue that Soros and his agents will use to split conservatives from Hispanics and Immigrants who would otherwise have much in common with conservatives and their principles. After all, people don't immigrate to the United States in order to live in a socialist wonderland. Conservatives need to be very careful. They need to use their conservative principles to outline a solution to the very real problem of illegal immigration while also reforming the broken legal immigration system, all while making it clear that the principles behind the reform are kindness to the immigrants and natives who are already in the US, and fairness to those who want to come to the US and work hard.

It won't be easy. But it will be worth it. It is becoming increasingly clear that the Democrats are an unpatriotic and anti-American party. In foreign affairs their instinct is to blame America first. I believe the Democrats will self-destruct in the next ten to twenty years, just like the Whigs did during the Civil War. There is no place in American politics for a primarily anti-American political party like the Democrats. The Republicans will split into two parties, both patriotic, one conservative and one liberal, just as the Democratic Republicans became the Democratic and Republican parties when the Whigs collapsed.

The 2008 election is the most important one of my lifetime. The Democrats are a party of children. They cannot be allowed to take the Presidency by default. Soros cannot be allowed to buy the election for them with his $7 billion war chest, especially by cunning and secretive use of black propaganda and wedge issues. Full exposure is necessary.

Also talking about Soros: The Anchoress, Fox, LGF, Blogrunner

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4GW Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day
When you are having difficulty drawing even in global popularity contest with a crowd of bearded fanatics who put beheading videos on the internet, it’s time to admit there’s a problem.

Zenpundit writes at Chicago Boyz:
One point of agreement across the political spectrum and that of informed opinion is that the USG has not done a particularly good job of managing “the war of ideas” in the conflict with Islamist terrorism. Or against state adversaries. Or with persuading neutrals and even our own allies to our point of view. When you are having difficulty drawing even in global popularity contest with a crowd of bearded fanatics who put beheading videos on the internet, it’s time to admit there’s a problem.

Our difficulty did not start with the Bush administration, they simply ramped up a negative dynamic that began in the 1990’s with the budgetary dismantling of USG public diplomacy, information agencies and CIA clandestine operations, in order to “reinvent government” or to save “Peace Dividend” pennies for pork barrel expenditures. Official America’s withdrawal from the information playing field also happened to coincide with the rise of baby boom, New Left, ‘68-ers as the managing editors, producers and shapers of opinion in European media, as well is in places like South Korea, that had its own veteran cadres of dissenters against the ROK’s old military regimes.

Shannon Love responds in the comments:
Autocracies rely less on the wisdom of the people and therefor risk little in using informational weapons. The can manufacture facts as it suits them with little regard to how those faux-facts will affect their own political structures. Since the goal of any autocracy is to maintain the internal social status of the autocrats, they usually find that they can deploy the same campaigns against foreigners and citizens alike. The low opportunity cost and high expected return means that modern autocracies place great emphasis on and devote significant resources to informational warfare as compared to liberal-democracies.

I think we need to plan on being systematically at a major disadvantage when it comes to formal centrally planned informational warfare. For liberal-democracies, informational warfare is like biological or chemical weapons: we risk inflicting as much or more harm to ourselves than we inflict on our opponents.

On the other hand, our advantage in decentralized informal information warfare is huge. Just the cultural pressure of popular entertainment alone seems to be powerful transformative force (long term) when it bleeds into autocracies. The internet will accelerate the general diffuse information assault on the worlds autocratic governments and movements.

When it comes to the information battle space, the USA is adrift in a sea that was created for the most part by thousands of years of Hebrew, Indian, Greek, and European culture with a surface layer of sensation-seeking decadence and leftover Soviet propaganda. What storm will be required to uncover those forces, undreamed of in a thousand years, lurking in the inky depths of the sea? And how many of us will survive the cataclysm?

Yet the metaphor illumines a truth. The West does not need to react to the memes and narrative of the enemy. The West needs to fish for, reel in, and re-invigorate its own memes and narratives and put them out into the world. The government cannot do this. Hollywood is against the West and won't help any time in the near future. The struggle will have to be a grass-roots one, with an army of fishers of men writing the traditional stories and performing them in a form so they can be understood.

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25 September 2007

Countering the Communist Narrative on Pakistan's Troubles

Pakistan's troubles concern everyone. It is a nuclear state with a dangerous, growing insurgency led by Al Qaeda. It is a semi-Islamist dictatorship imposed on a strong democratic culture descended from the British Commonwealth. It is an exporter of militant Islam in the form of Tablighi Jamaat, Hizb ut Tahrir, and the Pakistan-trained Taliban.

We can expect plenty of Communist and Islamist agitprop about the troubles in Pakistan. The danger is that the propaganda may confuse and paralyze the free world.The dinosaur media, led by the New York Times, and leftist politicians, pundits, and celebrities will echo the socialist/communist narrative in the near future. Given this sad but inevitable progress of events, what is the socialist/communist narrative on Pakistan? What form will the agitprop take?

Theme 1: Blame America First

Chris Harman (of the International Socialism Journal) begins his article in the Socialist Worker.
Pakistan is facing growing instability as a result of its role in the US-led “war on terror”.

The first sentence of the article reveals the first theme in the communist narrative. According to this storyline, the United States caused Pakistan's troubles by going to war against the Global Jihad and convincing Pakistan to cooperate (to the degree it is actually cooperating). Blame America first.

President Muhammed Zia-ul-Haq, who changed Pakistan from a secular state to an Islamist dictatorship, didn't have anything to do with it. Thousands of madrassas training boys and young men for the Jihad didn't have anything to do with it. The corruption of the Bhutto and Sharif governments didn't have anything to do with it. Taliban and Pakistan military intelligence accommodation of al Qaeda's global Jihad doesn't have anything to do with it. Government encouragement of Jihad against India in Kashmir and NATO in Afghanistan doesn't have anything to do with it. The Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) didn't have anything to do with it. Musharraf's recent clumsy attempt to bring the judiciary to heel didn't have anything to do with it. Musharraf's ceding of the Pashtun provinces along the border to Taliban rule didn't have anything to do with it.

Once you get back to earth from cloud-cuckoo-land, Pakistan's problems mostly spring from the toxic Jihadist movement that its post-partition leaders encouraged, and specifically from the Taliban/Al Qaeda insurgency. America had very little to do with it.

Theme 2: Economic Class Warfare
The new state was based on the notion that there existed a “Muslim nation”. But in fact it was made up from six different linguistic groups, each with different traditions and customs.


These ethnic tensions might have subsided if the mass of people had, in the decades following the creation of Pakistan, seen any significant improvement in their lives. But they did not.

The old landowning classes continued to enjoy near feudal powers in much of the countryside.

A new class of industrialists began to grow up alongside them as the country experienced often quite fast paced economic growth that rested on the increasing impoverishment of the majority of the population.

There was brief hope in the early 1970s that something would be done to mend this state of affairs.

An offspring of one of the feudal families, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (father of Benazir), won a great electoral victory as he spoke of socialism and nationalisation of some major industries.

But he soon turned against his working class and peasant supporters, until one of his generals, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, felt powerful enough to first overthrow and then hang him.

Nawaz Sharif’s political career took off under the Zia dictatorship, serving as the military’s provincial prime minister in the Punjab.

From this time on the only way successive rulers could hold the country’s disparate groups together was to play each off against the other – one ethnic group against another, one interpretation of Islam against another, the more religiously minded against the more secular.

According to this theme there are irreconcilable differences between the ethnic groups, sects, and more or less pious people of Pakistan that will continue to express themselves. Also according to this theme the increase of wealth in Pakistan over the last twenty to fifty years has not benefitted the middle class.

Before we can discuss this intelligently we will need to research the distribution of new wealth since partition in Pakistan. This is something that Gapminder may be able to assist with.

Theme 4: Guns, Guns Everywhere
Meanwhile Pakistan’s big cities, especially Karachi, were increasingly awash with weapons. They were periodically brought to a halt by violence between rival ethnic or religious groupings.

The guns invaded the cities, and moving about the cities, forced ethnic and religious rivals to pick them up and use them to kill each other and cause social disruption. Bad guns! Bad! Bad!

Please allow me to take off my sarcasm hat.

Obviously the guns (Soviet and Chinese made AK-47s) didn't cause anything. The guns were in the cities because the cities were full of Jihadists back from Kashmir and Afghanistan. In the 1980s and early 90s, India was a Soviet client state, Afghanistan was ruled by a Soviet puppet government, and Pakistan was a lukewarm client of the USA, happy to get any aid it could. There were so many Jihadists because that is how Pakistan spent its foreign aid money. Many of these Jihadists were degenerate brigands, often high on Afghan heroin and hashish, ready to kill and ready with an accusation of apostasy, as they are now. They would cause social instability if they were carrying pocket knives or pointed sticks.

Theme 4: Islamist parties driven by politics, not by religion
Musharraf has had to perform a precarious balancing act in order to hold on to power.

He has used Islamist parties sympathetic to the Taliban to keep the supporters of Bhutto and Sharif’s parties in check, while presenting himself to the US as the only person able to take on Taliban supporters in Pakistan.

In the last year this act has come unstuck. Nato’s continuing war in Afghanistan is seen by many Pashtuns as a war against them – especially when the US demands that the Pakistan army wages the war on its side of the border.

As a result the Islamist parties feel compelled to agitate against Musharraf, even though, with less than 20 percent of the vote, they fear that if the military government collapses they will lose out to Bhutto and Sharif.

This ignores the part that Islamist ideology has to play. The Islamist parties believe that they have received a clear command from Allah to wage Jihad against the unbelievers. They believe that since Musharraf has opposed them he is an apostate and unbeliever subject to lawful killing by any Muslim.

The communist/socialist assertion that Islamists are paying attention to something other than religion is based on wishful thinking and the Atheism of the communist revolution.

Theme 5: The Solution is a Peace Movement and Socialism
Any weakening of military domination, it is claimed, could lead to an explosive disintegration of the country, in which the right wing Islamists could be the main beneficiaries.

But any weakening of military rule would also remove one of the obstacles preventing action by those forces capable of providing a very different sort of alternative to the country.

A recent opinion poll suggested that 75 percent of the population believe that the Musharraf government has increased poverty.

The vast majority of those questioned said that they want to see a reduction in military spending, continuation of the policy of peace with India, and an end to privatisation.

This represents an approach that is radically different not only to that of the military, but also to that of Bhutto, Sharif and the right wing Islamist parties.

The key question is whether a popular movement emerges out of the present political crisis which takes up such questions.

This theory that a government collapse would empower the Socialists at the expense of the Islamists is interesting. However, we have an obvious counter-example in the 1917 Russian Revolution. The Mensheviks were crushed by Lenin's Cheka purges within a year of the Revolution. The result was increased state terror at the hands of the Cheka, later the NKVD and KGB. Islamism is a utopian ideology intent on reforming human nature to fit its ideology, much like Marxist-Leninist-Communism and Nazism. The Jihad is as violent as was the apparatus of Revolutionary Terror wielded by Lenin's committee, and the results if Islamists should take control of Pakistan are foreshadowed in the recent history of Afghanistan and in Revolutionary Russia from 1917 to 1948. A collapse of Musharraf's government could only have benign results if somehow the Islamist parties were neutralized by force. Otherwise the Jihad will rage and the winner in such a struggle will be the party with the will to crush all others.

While peace with India is a laudable goal and very achievable, the Pakistani military and police forces are required in order to oppose the Jihadists. Many of Pakistan's Jihadists need to be killed, and that is something that won't take care of itself. This situation doesn't appear to be productive ground for pacifism.

And on the economic front privatization is the best way to raise the level of wealth and health in the country, as demonstrated by the results of India's privatization reforms. Zimbabwe serves as a useful example of what happens when privatization is reversed.

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Italian Commandos Execute Daring Rescue in Afghanistan

From the AP in the WashPo:
KABUL, Sept. 24 -- Italian commandos, aided by other NATO forces and aircraft, rescued two kidnapped Italian intelligence operatives Monday in a daring ambush and gun battle that left at least nine of the captors dead in western Afghanistan.

Although both freed Italians were wounded -- one of them seriously -- Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi proclaimed the operation a success and said it could put a dent in Afghanistan's growing kidnapping industry.

The US and England aren't the only forces fighting in NATO. Despite comically restrictive rules of engagement held by many NATO members, the Afghanistan mission requires soldiers to be soldiers. Even the Italians and Spaniards in Afghanistan are coming to recognize the need for soldiers in the battle for Afghan liberty, and in this global Counterjihad.

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24 September 2007

Incredible Train Video

"I can't believe that!" said Alice.

"Can't you?" the queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again, draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."

Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said. "One can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll

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23 September 2007

Watching the UN

Swallowing Swords

Hans Rosling gave a brilliant statistical talk in 2006 and another in 2007 that both exploded a lot of myths about the first and third world. Conclusion: The first and third world that were very distinct in 1950 have converged in 2007 with the exception of Africa and a few other exceptionally poorly managed countries. The 2007 talk also features visual proof that the impossible really isn't, when an academic statistician swallows a bayonet.


TED: Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers

Gapminder: Free software to help visualize human development

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Reasons to be Cynical

One was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 for being the leader of the National Socialist German Worker's Party. One was nominated in 1945 and 1948 for being the most prolific mass murderer of the 20th Century. One won the prize after being the worst American President of the 20th Century. One won the prize for negligence while watching over North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons development. One won the prize for presiding over the UN during the Oil for Food scandal, in which his own son was a major player. One won the prize for appeasing the totalitarian regime in North Korea. One won the prize for masterminding terrorist attacks against Israel for fifty years. One won the prize for creating a nation of militant refugees and helping them double in size. One won the prize for leading the North Vietnamese Communist Party and rejected it as he hadn't yet unleashed half a million boat people to dare the high seas in small boats in order to escape his workers' paradise.

There are plenty more examples of Progressive thought where that came from.

And another reason... Have you heard the one about Columbia University inviting the Jew-hating dictator of a terror-sponsoring state to campus for a talk in 2007, and 1933?

H/T: LGF 1, 2

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21 September 2007

Comrade Osama bin Laden, Jihad Marxist Moonbat

A few weeks ago, the media wing of Al Qaeda released an Osama bin Laden tape that was full of rambling Marxist and multiculturalist folderol, obviously written by Californian Jewish convert to Jihadism and all-around moonbat death-metal fruit-basket Adam Gadahn. The speech resonated so well with the transnational-socialist left-wing of the Democrat party in America that one could well imagine a cleaned up Bin Laden doing well in Democrat presidential polls. He'd do gangbusters on HuffPo, Think Progress and FireDogLake. Now that would be a first for the Democratic Party: The first active terrorist to be a Democratic presidential candidate.

Editorial cartoon by Payne.

Bin Laden could also be the first deceased sock-puppet of a moonbat death-metal fruit-basket Jewish convert to Jihadism to be a Democratic presidential candidate, but that's a topic for another post. For the rest of this post I will hold to the polite fiction that Bin Laden is definitely alive. But it doesn't really matter whether he's alive or dead. Somebody is putting out videos with his face on them. Somebody is guiding and coordinating Al Qaeda's efforts. I'm concerned about somebody.

Dr. Sanity wrote a brilliant piece (as usual) about the love-match between Islam and Marxism that threatens the rest of the world. It's called Islam and Marxism: A Marriage Made in Allah's Socialist Paradise.

Multiculturalism and political correctness are two of the fundamental pseudo-intellectual, quasi-religious tenets that have been widely disseminated by intellectuals unable to abandon socialism even after its crushing failures in the 20th century. Along with a third component, radical environmentalism, they make up three key foundations of leftist dogma that have been slowly, but relentlessly, absorbed at all levels of Western culture in the last decade or so--but primarily since the end of the Cold War.

All three have been incorporated into most K-12 curricula as well as the academic curricula in Western university and colleges. In combination, they are the toxic by-products of postmodern relativism.

The neo-Marxist fascists who are leading the charge in the academic world have been at the forefront of attempts to rewrite most of history and undo thousands of years of Western cultural advancement.

And, as Western culture has become completely saturated with this toxic brew, any attempt to question the validity of the neo-Marxists' premises; or to contest their value is met with hysterical accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, imperialism, bigotry, or--worse of all --intolerance or insensitivity or hypocrisy.

The self-righteousness of the neo-Marxist fascists is such that they strongly believe they are justified (even in their "antiwar" personas) to violently attack and/or intimidate any who disagree with them.

It just so happens, that these tenets (multiculturalism, political correctness, and radical environmentalism) represent three of the four pillars that are the foundation of an evolving epistemological, ethical and political strategy that the socialist remnants in the world have conceptualized and implemented to prevent their ideology from entering the dustbin of history.

And, what is most interesting is that, even as they encourage and enable Islam with the first three pillars; the Islamofascists are aiding and abetting them by using the fourth pillar-Terrorism.

You really should read the rest.

This picture to the right is from Doc's article. Click on it to enlarge. It is very helpful to show how Marxism is tied at the hip to modern Jihadism. It all came from Soviet sponsorship of Egypt, Iraq, Syria and the PLO.

Now let us move from one insightful thinker and treasured writer to another.

Victor Davis Hanson points out the constantly changing pretexts Bin Laden offers for his terroristic threats:
In 2004, bin Laden objected to our logical conclusion that he instead hated the West simply for its freedom. He posed this rhetorical question: “Contrary to what Bush says and claims — that we hate freedom — let him tell us then, ‘Why did we not attack Sweden?’”

I think we can now answer that by pointing out that al-Qaida has just put out a $100,000 murder bounty on a Swedish cartoonist who was a little too free in his caricatures of Islam. Note that Sweden has no troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, lets in plenty of Middle Eastern Muslims and wants no part of George Bush’s “war on terror.”

But then radical Islamists have also threatened Danish cartoonists, Dutch filmmakers, German opera producers, and the pope. All have nothing to do with Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel — but simply do things that radical Islam finds blasphemous.

So aren’t these constantly changing gripes of al Qaeda’s just pretexts for bin Laden’s larger hatred of Western-inspired freedom?

The truth is that bin Laden and al Qaeda want power for themselves, and use religious grievances and shifting political demands to try to achieve it.

And guess who just declared war on the president of Pakistan? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Of course, in yet another video good old Bin Laden himself has declared war on Mushy and Pakistan. Why doesn't Bin Laden do this like normal countries declare war? Oh yeah, I forgot. He doesn't have a country. He has a hideout up in the mountains where he and his fellow brigands hide, get high on Helmand's heroin, kill the local chiefs, hide behind children when fighting well-trained troops, force themselves carnally on young boys and girls, and dream of a Caliphate with them in the leadership.

Mushy, who must not exactly be quaking in his boots, has set a date for presidential elections. Presidential elections in Pakistan will be held on October 6. I guess this means the deal with Benazir Bhutto is out. Of course if Bin Laden could get his ducks in a row and run against Mushy, he might win the presidency fair and square, or at least as fair and square as Bin Laden the brigand chieftan can handle.

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20 September 2007

Blue on Blue from the Military Lawyers in Afghanistan

Two special forces soldiers were on a classified mission to kill a dangerous bomb maker who had killed brothers in arms before and would kill again. They were in a village in the Afghan mountains. On the back of their minds, the knowledge that if they were captured they would be overwhelmed by barbaric Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters who would flout all the laws of civilized warfare to torture them cruelly and mutilate their bodies if they had the opportunity. Through careful field work and patience they had the mass-murderer square in the sight of their sniper rifle. They confirmed his identity. They confirmed they had authorization to kill him. And...

When a soldier is hunting the devil and through his hard work and preparation gets the drop on old widdershins himself, does he throw away his advantage and give the devil a fair fight? Does he become a cop and arrest the devil? Or does he take his victories where he can?

Paul von Zielbauer writes:
The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.

To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Mr. Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”

Mr. Buntangyar had organized suicide and roadside bomb attacks, Captain Staffel’s lawyer said.

But to the two-star general in charge of the Special Operations forces in Afghanistan at the time, Frank H. Kearney, who has since become a three-star general, the episode appeared to be an unauthorized, illegal killing. In June, after two military investigations, General Kearney moved to have murder charges brought against Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson — respectively, the junior commissioned and senior noncommissioned officers of Operational Detachment Alpha 374, Third Battalion, Third Special Forces Group. [NYT]

The Afghan forces who led Staffel and Anderson to Buntangyar could have arrested the bomb-maker if they so desired. But they did not. Instead they signaled for the kill. They had a reason for their choice. As natives, they are much better attuned to the surroundings than American soldiers, and a further order of magnitude better attuned than a lawyer sitting in headquarters and comparing this to the rules applicable to a traffic stop in suburban Long Island. The native Afghans called for a kill. Whether they called for the kill because they thought the bomb-maker was armed with a gun, or because they thought he might have a bomb belt under his robes, or because he might have placed radio-controlled land mines under the whole road and been ready to set them all off in a spectacular blast, we cannot say. Who knows what they thought? But the fact is they made a call for a kill shot. The kill had already been approved by the American command. And the main job of soldiers in war is to kill the enemy, which Buntangyar was. So, the American soldiers shot him.

And now the lawyers have decided to prosecute them for murder.

Blue on Blue

The lawyers are fighting their own in a war. Are they in this war to win, or to prevent their forces from winning?

What this general did is mind-boggling. Most officers are virtuous and honorable men, but occasionally they are martinets who interpret every rule and regulation in the most perverse way possible. This is common in the business world, especially among human resources drones and auditors. Captain Queeg wasn't the only bad commanding officer in the history of the world.


One possibility that some have raised is that the purpose of this charge is judo to clarify the Rules of Engagement, to underline that what Staffel and Anderson did was entirely legal. With clear precedent like this in place, future soldiers would be able to act without fearing they were at risk of prosecution. But the problem with this theory is that prosecutions like this tend to end military careers. The clarification could be made just as simply by writing a clarification of the rules. No judo needed.


The perversity of prosecuting special forces soldiers and most likely ending their careers for doing their job under the rules at the time is stunning. It is unlikely that there is any judo reasoning at work. But... SNAFU is a military acronym for a good reason. Clearly this situation is one. The lawyers and judges involved should clear up this legal SNAFU as quickly as possible, and the soldiers who have been placed under suspicion should have their records cleared and be given commendations for their good work.

They don't deserve a black mark next to their names. The military doesn't deserve to give itself a black eye over a blue on blue misunderstanding. The responsible military command should do the right thing for Staffel and Anderson and make things a little less FUBAR for everybody. Dismiss the charges and give those fellows a promotion!

H/T: Cao

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Afghan Orphans flying Kites

In the most meaningful development to date in the entire history of mankind, the UN mission to Afghanistan marks the climax of a campaign to halt violence by getting Afghan street children to fly kites.

On the eve of the International Day of Peace, some 100 Afghan street children flew kites adorned with doves and olive branches atop a hill overlooking Kabul today, marking the closing stages of a United Nations-backed campaign to halt violence in the war-torn nation.

Today’s event, on Nader Khan hill, was one of many around the country in the final days of a two-month campaign launched by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the global campaign group Peace One Day. Kite flying was banned under the brutal Taliban regime which was ousted in 2001.

The initiative has grown to encompass scores of organizations, businesses, and institutions, as well as politicians and individual citizens – all urging a halting of violence in Afghanistan on and around 21 September, which is observed annually as the International Day of Peace.

Since the Taliban was ousted, kite flying has re-emerged as a popular past-time, particularly for Afghan children.

The success of the violence-reduction aspect of the UN plan has not been determined.

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19 September 2007

Bad Jimmah

Jacob Laksin and David Horowitz have laid out the case against Jimmy Carter, now not only the worst president of the last one-hundred years but the worst ex-president.

h/t: Tammy Bruce

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18 September 2007

Too good to be true?

When the impossible happened, it used to be good enough to catch it on film. Nowadays, not so much. A hundred years after Leni Riefenstahl was born the techniques of propaganda films have become commoditized. There is even a new coinage on the internet for it: Fauxtography.

So, is what happens to this baseball bat real or a fake?

You're just too good to be true.
Can't take my eyes off you.

Pardon the way that I stare.
There's nothing else to compare.
The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak,
But if you feel like I feel,
Please let me know that it's real.

Sometimes it is hard to tell what is true. But that is not a reason to refuse to make a choice. Rather it is a reason to choose wisely and learn by your mistakes.

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Should teachers be able to carry Guns?

Mr. Christian excerpts Rob at Say Anything.

Rob over at Say Anything has an interesting question posted:

That’s the rather interesting question from The Christian Science Monitor which has an article up about a teacher in Medford, Oregon, who wants to bring her Glock 9mm to school with her and is filing a lawsuit so she can do just that.

This is an issue that usually comes up after school shootings (Virginia Tech, etc.), and I am generally in favor of teachers bringing guns to school. That being said, I’ve got something of a nuanced position on this one in that I don’t think people have a right to bring their guns to work.

I think that teachers do have a right to bring their guns to school. It is not a matter of private property right, as Rob asserts, because the school is a government facility. As such, we the people are the owners. I believe her right to self defense trumps the rights of the administration to keep things “neat and tidy”

What say you?

We know what happens when nobody in a school is armed except for a single madman or a pair or a gang of evil men. That has been demonstrated to my satisfaction. It's time to give responsible adults of good character and clear vision the chance to defend themselves and others not only in elementary and high schools, but also in colleges and universities.

Are teachers trustworthy enough to be allowed to carry guns?

Do we trust them with our children?

How could you answer yes to one and not to the other?

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Call for climate hysteria debunkers on October 15

October 15 will be the day to blog as well as you can on the Environment. Splash some cool water on the steaming hotheads. Register at Blog Action Day if you like.

As Arthur C. Clarke said, (from memory) if man is to last as long as the dinosaurs lasted, then only for a brief moment at the beginning of the lifespan of the human species will "ship" refer to a ship that rides on water. Space travel is a necessity for the boundless and brilliant future of humanity. And to have space travel we all need more horsepower and more energy than we have now.

Earth is a tiny piece of the environment of the Universe, even a tiny part of the Solar System we live in. If we confuse our planet with the false goddess Gaia we lose touch with the immensity of our human future, which if we can keep our minds on target will see us colonize the stars.

A watermelon is green on the outside and red on the inside. A watermelon is also an environmentalist Green who hides a communist, socialist Red agenda inside. Rather than working to increase efficiency which will increase the available horsepower and decrease pollution, watermelons have as their goal to use the legal system and a government monopoly on violence to strangle industry and modern society and forcibly roll history back to a time when people walked everywhere, when specialization and the industrial revolution had not made life easier and safer for people, when Mozart's death at 36 wasn't considered all that young.

Widespread societal collapse would certainly get rid of all the lawyers, but I don't think the mass starvation and violent uprisings are worth even such a laudable goal as to rid the world of lawyers.

Since most of the blogging about this will be by watermelon Greens and other communist influenced groups it falls on those of us conservatives who love the environment to keep our heads on our shoulders when the Chicken Littles run around screaming about the fallen sky. Remember, October 15.

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17 September 2007

Ask a Democrat about the Skull and Bones secret society, get tasered

Update 9/18/07: There was a lot more to this story than was apparent at the first glance. Michelle Malkin covers much of it. Short version, the questioner had already asked a lot of bizarre questions and seemed to be daring the campus police to arrest and taser him with his bizarre behavior around a national figure. Somewhat unbelievably, Kerry claimed he didn't know the guy was getting tasered. I guess he couldn't hear the caterwauling from the front of the hall.

I'll leave my embarrassing rant up so you can all slap me around for it. That might stop me from getting my panties in a bunch next time.

Update 9/24/07: The young star of the video has gotten a lot of exposure out of it. As proof, please view this spoof video.

Not once did Kerry call out for mercy for the questioner. Not once. He is a coward who lacks the guts to answer an embarrassing question and a moral idiot who cannot identify wrong being done in his own name when he sees it.

Character matters, John Kerry. I thank God you lost the Presidential race in 2004!

John Kerry should be ashamed of what he did today, tomorrow, and every day of the rest of his life. Democrats who respect him should rethink supporting him and any other leftist candidates who mouth platitudes about free speech they do not adhere to in their own lives.

What am I talking about? Watch.

A young man goes to the microphone at a John Kerry Townhall meeting to ask a question. "Were you a member of the Skull and Bones in college. Were you and Bush members of the same secret society?"

Eight police grabbed the student and hustled him up to the back of the auditorium where they forced him to the ground and piled on top of him. The audience cheered when he was grabbed and moved away. Shouting, the student protested his treatment, repeatedly asking why he was being arrested, what he did, and begging them not to taze him. They tasered him more than once. I counted four flashes and probably missed some.

Shame on John Kerry and the other passive, spineless jellyfish in the auditorium. Shame!

H/T: Stop the ACLU, Michelle Malkin

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Joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents

Sunday was the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year of our Lord 2007. Sunday's scripture readings were about divine forgiveness mediated through human intercession. This is a uniquely Christian theme that is a part of the central mystery of Christianity, Jesus' incarnation in human form and his self-sacrifice to redeem those who have sinned is the perfected instance of this theme.

In the video and the Psalm there is none but the sinner and God to rescue the one who fell into sin.

Psalms 51: 3 - 4, 12 - 13, 17, 19
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

In the first reading Moses intercedes with God, begging him for forgiveness and appealing to God's promises to Abraham, Isaac and Israel, the ancestors of the Jews. Moved by Moses' plea, God does not rescind his promises. He tempers His wrath. In the second reading, Paul writes to Timothy that he was lost then was redeemed by Jesus' miraculous intervention. And in the short version of the third reading, Jesus' tells the parable of the shepherd and the lost sheep.

The First Reading (Old Testament)
Exodus 32: 7 - 11, 13 - 14
7 And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves;
8 they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, `These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'"
9 And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people;
10 now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; but of you I will make a great nation."
11 But Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does thy wrath burn hot against thy people, whom thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst swear by thine own self, and didst say to them, `I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.'"
14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.

The Second Reading (Letters)
1 Timothy 1: 12 - 17
12 I thank him who has given me strength for this, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful by appointing me to his service,
13 though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and insulted him; but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief,
14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the foremost of sinners;
16 but I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience for an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
17 To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

The Third Reading (Gospel)
Luke 15: 1 - 10
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.'
7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
8 "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'
10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16